Monday, October 17, 2011

the plot thickens...

so, I may have mentioned my shiny new toy which I've been having a little fun with in between revising Dendara. And I am going to finish revising Dendara, btw. I've cut 23k words so far and I'm about half way through which means if I cut another 23k the final word count could be around 118k, which a heck of a lot better than 164k. Don't you think?

Anyhow, back to my new toy which, I must tell you, I have not been playing with in my usual fashion. Instead of jumping right in and doing a few character sketches, I'm actually plotting and planning. I've written nearly 12 pages, from the overall arc to the details of nearly every single chapter. And now, to fill it out, I'm adding a subplot. Why? You may ask.

Well, I knew I needed something more than the main plot line to flesh out the story completely but it wasn't until I read an article in the latest Writer's Digest Magazine (November/December 2011) that I realized what. The article ("Spin Subplots Like a Master Weaver") explains how subplots can support and/or drive the main story. "With subplots - and the secondary characters who populate them - you can: advance the story in satisfying increments, reveal information to your main characters or to the reader, induce mood, or unleash transformative forces on your main characters" - to name a few. The how is shown by seven techniques that reveal themselves with titles like The Bookend or The Swallowtail or The Clue. It was a great article.

And now I know exactly what my shiny new toy needs. A shiny new subplot :)

Isn't writing fun?


  1. Awesome how many words you cut. I had to do major word counting in my last two revisions too.

    I'm trying to outline my new project too. Good luck.

  2. Wow, you've done an amazing about of work. I can feel that you feel you're on the right track. Good luck with the new outline.

  3. Glad you are excited about it!

  4. I'm going to have to go to the library to track down that issue of WD. Fortunately I now subscribe to it, so I won't miss out on anymore articles like that.

    Congrats on the pruning. :D

  5. i dreamt one up this weekend too =)
    motivation to finish current edit!!!

  6. Great points, Marcy. I'm at that point with one of my stories. I should find that article. Thanks for sharing your views.

  7. You almost make it sound fun! I love subplots, but I think I go overboard--I seem to get feedback that my stories are too complicated and to smooth it out. Maybe YA just doesn't tolerate it as well? I tend to be a timeliner, rather than an outliner, but the subplots work in there anyway. I am just bendy that way.

  8. Yay for finding a shiny new subplot to make your ms sparkle even more!! Good luck with your edits!!! Take care

  9. Oh, yes! You have to have some good subplots! Thinking back over various manuscripts I've beta-read and critiqued, one of the things that's often lacking is a subplot (and I don't just mean a romance). I love the quote you used. I gotta write that down!

    I'm anxious to see how you make out with the outlining -- since outlining has never really worked for me. In fact, I'm blogging Friday on defense of pantsterers everywhere! :)

  10. Wow, you're cutting out a LOT of words. Makes me wonder if you didn't start out with enough to produce two books. (Are you crying as you kick your babies to the curb?)

    And yes, through all of the editing, cutting, whatever, writing IS fun. (And addictive.)

  11. Natalie, this outlining thing is interesting. Of course, I'm not really sure I'm doing it right...

    Kittie, thanks :)

    Alex, me too!

    Liza, thanks for visiting!

    Tara, I love that kind of motivation.

    Sheri, it's a great article. very helpful I found.

    Hart, this outlining plotting thing is new to me. I've been a pantster til now. Thought I'd try something new.

    Old kitty, thank you!

    Dianne, can't wait to read your post :)

    Susan, no (altho I do have ideas for two more books in the series...), just a ton of info dumps and back story and history and blah, blah blah. I found a better way to present the info. And thankfully, no crying - yet.

  12. Such enthusiasm. Do it, Marcy!

  13. I am so impressed with the amount of editing you are doing. I think mine originally was around 116k - lots of back story and info dumps - like you say, blah blah! - and now it's around 76k. It's amazing how much you don't actually need. I hope your story is turning into the novel you want it to be!

    And shiny sub plots are fantastic! :)

  14. Thanks Giggles :)

    Jayne, slowly I think it is turning into what I want - but it's a lot of work!

  15. Mm, subplots. :) I love them! They always add so much depth to a story. Glad you're having fun with it!


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